46. Robert Southey to Thomas Phillipps Lamb, 3 April  *
early the next morning we rose after a curious division of the bed for we slept together he took all the bed & I took all the cloaths but we did not need rocking — over Camden downs to Broadway — the hill above the town presented me with a most delightful view equally rich & far more extensive than that from Madams courts hill, yet not so very beautifully diversied — you see the fertile vale of Evesham — the town of the same name — Broadway just below — & at a distance the smoke of Pershore & Worcester. Malvern hills melting into distance. a man of Exeter  breakfasted with us at Broadway who in walking twenty miles in boots once, had lost two toe nails — he was mounted but though we left Oxford together, we kept up with him even unto Worcester. the abbey at Evesham is wonderfully grand — in a very different stile from Battle but equally beautiful. a tower, a perfect sample of the simple Gothic fronts the skeleton of the church, whose roof in many places fallen in affords light enough to show distinctly the inside & casts a shade in many places — the grass grows in the high archd windows — desolation makes it more striking but unless some admirer of antiquity gives assistance very shortly it will I fear fall entirely. we reachd Worcester to dinner having never rested for 21 miles — here as you may easily imagine we were not sorry to rest — to proceed 12 miles thro a very clayey wet country was tho not impossible very unpleasant — we remained that night & the next morning being wet breakfasted with a clergyman. the day cleared up — I bought a trusty stick — threw on my old bear as the luggage had arrived & on we proceeded — the country had been pleasant before it now become [MS torn]lly beautiful & I rejoiced in having journied to it but the wet ground & roads such [MS torn] in Sussex would be deemed impassable made the travelling not good th[MS torn] trifle beneath consideration but we grew hungry for speed was impossible & alehouses [MS torn] nondescript in our journey. the bread & cheese cold pigs face tongue tarts & cyder were most agreable — it may seem strange but I never found such pleasure in travelling as in this expedition — the highest pride is couched under humility & in truth I was proud of travelling so humbly.
I have since visited Abberley Bewdley Kidderminster & Malvern each well worth seeing but it is difficult to describe so many assemblies of houses in a different manner — since our arrival here the snow has fallen & from the aspect I am inclined to hope we shall be weather bound till the last moment. Arthur Youngs  remark is very true — it is the fate of travellers just to view persons whom we could wish to be acquainted with & then depart — thanks be to the weather I am shut up.
T Lamb promised me Mr xx Lettices travels  — his Majesty claims the same & as I have some idea of walking with Collins over Scotland next year it will be of much use. poor Anax!  he was quite scaly before his departure but is now recovering apace. Tom must come to Oxford at the installation  I will promise him house room & good living — or if Mrs L will come it will give me much pleasure to procure lodgings for her. such sights do not chance every day. Tom should have a sample of collegiate life in order to prize his mode of education the more. in truth there is little good learnt at Oxford & much evil — society eternally of men unfits one for any thing else — at Westminster friends were near — but at Oxford a man can never learn refinement. a company of all men is at all times bad — there it is abominable — his plan of study is hard but he deserves more praise than I can give — I hope Mrs L will come but in any case Tom must.
the state of French affairs pleases you I hope. peace! peace! is all I wish for. but why should I give my sentiments? yours are more deeply founded upon experience nor does it become a young mad headed enthusiast to judge of these matters. time may alter my opinions — I do not much think it will. let those opinions be what they will you will not despise me for them. I had some more lines to have sent but as they might not exactly have accorded with what is politically good they are suppressed. my best respects & wishes to all, friends at Rye.
will you once more favour me with a letter to Oxford? I have no friend to advice me with respect to my conduct & your advice will be good.
yours most sincerely
Ledbury. April 3rd. 1791. 
I must be at Oxford Saturday week next.
* Address: Thomas Philips Lamb Esqr/ Mountsfield Lodge/ Rye/
Postmark: AP/ 9/ 93
MS: Duke University Library, Southey papers. ALS; 2p. (c).
Previously published: John Wood Warter, Selections From the Letters of Robert Southey, 4 vols (London, 1856), I, pp. 15–20 [a fuller version than exists in the Duke MS. This text is reproduced in Appendix 1].
Dating note: Southey misdates this letter as 3 April 1791, but the postmark and the events described confirm the year as 1793. BACK
 Arthur Young (1741–1820; DNB), Travels During the years 1787, 1788 and 1789, Undertaken More Particularly With a View of Ascertaining the Cultivation, Wealth, Resources, and National Prosperity of the Kingdom of France (Bury St Edmunds, 1792), p. 79. BACK